The last two days you’ve seen Tricia and Jason’s wedding. Today, hear Tricia’s advice for real brides!
1. What is your best advice for a bride? Or for a groom?
Figure out where you want to spend your money – what is most important to you for your day – and where you are okay spending less or foregoing all together. For me, I wanted a good photographer (pictures last forever after all!) and I wanted a wedding day coordinator. I did not want to be bothered about making sure vendors got to the venue, or answer any questions or worry about really anything other than looking pretty and being happy on my day. So, for me these two vendors were money well spent. I was okay spending less money on other aspects of the wedding and putting a little more in those two areas. Each person will likely have different things that are important to them, but I would definitely recommend getting a coordinator for the day of at the very least. A coordinator/planner can also have good connections in the industry with either discounts or just good people to start your search for vendors. I also loved that my coordinator pulled all of my details together into an absolutely beautiful setup.
2. What was the biggest surprise on your wedding day?
Probably that I didn’t cry as much as I thought I would and that others did cry that I didn’t think would (my dad and my sister – although my sister crying was my fault ;-)). Also, I was a lot more nervous than I thought I would be. I never doubted my decision to marry Jason so my nerves were about other things, but it was crazy how they kept creeping up.
3. What was your favorite moment of the day?
I’m not sure I could pick just one moment! If I could re-live that day over and over again in it’s entirety, I would. Some of my favorites were (other than #1, not in any specific order): 1. Me and Jason saying our vows… I saw tears in his eyes and I know I was holding them back.
2. Seeing my sister realize that I had a song that has always reminded me of her played during dinner. I had gone back to the bridal suite and came out and heard it and looked at her. I will never forget that face.
3. The father/daughter dance was very special to me for personal reasons. He was misty eyed and made me feel very loved. My dad has had some health issues, and seeing him actually in that moment, knowing what it was about, and obviously having so much love for me was really moving.. and sweet.
4. Spending 30 minutes alone after the ceremony and some pictures. This was a great time for me and Jason to just be together and take in our day – everyone should do this. Everyone.
5. The toasts – they were great.
4. Did you have any wedding day nerves? What did you do to tame them?
I was mostly nervous about how it was all going to come together – planning a lot of it myself and making a lot of the decor made me nervous about whether I had made good choices in terms of a ‘theme/flow’ and cohesion. I think I was in good hands with the coordinator, who made things look amazing, but I had to learn to let it go. In the end, I did – there were too many other important things to think about and focus on for the day other than whether the fonts matched on absolutely everything or if it all ‘made sense’ to someone else. I also tend to divert my attention whenever I’m nervous – I cleaned the house, tried to find things to do for other people, just think about anything else. From talking to Jason he did the same thing – but for him it was talking about football that took his mind off of it.
5. What did you love (or hate) about wedding planning? What made it easier?
I hated that I had to plan it from across the country. This made it difficult for many reasons: I didn’t have a lot of support where I am living in terms of getting things done, so a lot of the stuff fell on me to do in terms of the DIY things I wanted to do. I tried to spread this stuff out over time – several months – and this helped to make it feel a little less all consuming (although there’s always the push at the end, but by then it was just a few things here and there). Then there was burden of time and money that I didn’t fully factor in. I sort of knew that having the wedding in Atlanta while I was living in California was going to mean flying back and forth a lot, but I didn’t really factor that into the budget so that got to be frustrating in the end. Nothing made that easier – it was just something I had to deal with. This also made some things more difficult – and made trips to Atlanta all about wedding stuff and trying to cram a lot of stuff into long weekends which made them stressful. This was difficult for both me and Jason since we were in a long distance relationship and it started to feel like every time we saw each other we had to spend all of our time doing wedding stuff. So, we tried to have at least one date night for every visit and not talk about wedding stuff.
What I loved about the process was picking out the details and making a lot of things for the wedding. Once things started coming together – picking out vases, making candle covers, making table runners, etc – it was all so much fun (even if it felt like a lot for one person to do at the time). In the end, when I saw it all come together, and I could say that I made almost everything there, there was definitely a sense of pride I felt. And it looked beautiful (have I mentioned that?).
6. What advice would you give to newly married couples?
Relish in that day. Let it play over and over in your mind. It really is the best day of your life. On a more practical note – check with where you were registered – sometimes they give you some great deals on completing your registry – we had no idea that we got that perk. But really, I don’t know yet – I’m still getting used to it all myself.
7. Were there any special moments during the day that you weren’t expecting?
I don’t think there was anything unexpected, but there were some special moments that I didn’t know how it would happen- one thing I had asked the DJ to do was play some Elvis songs for Jason, in memory of his dad – and he started out the night for us with “Can’t help falling in love” where everyone was on the dance floor with us. I didn’t expect that – it was a silent/subtle tribute to Jason’s dad and I really appreciated that – it was a way to honor his dad’s memory without making the day feel sad. The other is the one for my sister when I had a song played for her. I didn’t know when it was going to happen and I didn’t mean to not be there when the song came on, but when I came out to it playing and saw her, I knew she knew it was for her. I think the way it happened made it a lot more special than if I had, in fact, been sitting there with her when it came on.
8. Is there anything about the wedding day you would have planned differently?
I would have had it on a Saturday rather than a Sunday and not planned it from across the country – however, these are not things that were actually factors that could have been changed. Other than that, I loved everything about the day – absolutely everything.
Thanks Tricia for sharing your experience!!